Spain’s richest woman dies at age 69

MADRID (AP) — The Spanish company that owns the Zara chain of clothing stores says co-founder Rosalia Mera has died. She was 69 and Spain’s richest woman.

Inditex SA did not give details in its statement Friday about how she died. But Spanish media widely reported that Mera suffered a stroke while on vacation on the Mediterranean island of Menorca and died Thursday night in a hospital she was transported to in northwestern Spain.

Mera was a seamstress who helped build Inditex from the clothing store she started with her then-husband, Armancio Ortega. He is listed by Forbes as the planet’s third richest person.

Mera held 6.99 percent of Inditex stock, according to company filings at the Madrid stock exchange, and her fortune was estimated by Forbes at $6.1 billion. The magazine says she was the world’s 195th richest person but was in the No. 1 spot on its list for “wealthiest self-made woman.”

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